Loving yourself enough to see yourself

Dear Readers,

I have a reputation for being a perky Pollyanna which is deserved but there are times when even this “turn your smile upside down” girl struggles to keep it happy.

Today is one of these times. I heard two Ted Talks back to back about how we are failing our young women by continuing to hold an ideal standard to them as “the” way to be. Specifically there are teenage girls posting pictures of themselves on the internet and begging to be judged “Am I pretty” and the comments back are vicious and unkind.This makes me sad and angry because its completely avoidable. The teen should not have to post pictures to get feedback from strangers. She should be able to get this from family and failing that friends and teachers.

One of these talks started out by saying there was a time when we were children that we loved ourselves so much that we blew kisses to the mirror, thoroughly pleased by what we saw and the thing I am writing about today is why and when did it stop. When do we stop loving ourselves “just as we are” no qualifiers or “if only” statements. I have made great strides in this area in just the last year and I am 37 so I will admit to a major struggle with this. Even today, as I write this, I took a picture earlier that my immediate thought was, “ugh, look at my legs” cheerleader but I am posting it anyway because that is what I see. I don’t know what everyone else sees. It comes down to perspective. My husband would say, “that is my gorgeous wife” Joan Ellen would likely say, “that’s my girl, all grown up”.. so what exactly is my problem? What standard am I holding myself to? The answer is nothing. I don’t have a comparable person to compare myself to because I am me and no one else can be me.

All this self-reflection makes me stop and think, when was the last time I fully loved myself (besides the pin up photo shoots) and blew kisses in the mirror? I certainly never did that, but I do remember when I had a new dress and I was quite pleased with myself. It was velvet and green and had matching ribbon and I remember twirling in front of the mirror and saying “whee” — I think we could all stand to say “whee” more. It’s kind of silly but heading to my treadmill last night, I blew a kiss to myself in the mirror and plan to do more of that, I think we could all stand to love ourselves more.

Think about it!

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